CITY leaders have spoken in praise of the vice-chancellor of Portsmouth university as he is today awarded a CBE.
Professor John Craven has earned the honour for his services to higher education and the community.
Prof Craven, 63, said: ‘I’m honoured and flattered, and really very pleased.
‘It’s not particularly expected but I’m very honoured.’
He has been the head of the university for 16 years and will leave next month.
He spoke highly of his staff and the way the university has worked with the community.
‘We’re an institution which is blessed with huge amounts of very intelligent people, both our staff and our students, and I think we should be contributing something back,’ he said.
‘I do think we’re a source of talent and expertise and experience, that we should be willing to share.
‘And fortunately many of my colleagues are indeed willing to share it.’
Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock said: ‘I’m very pleased for him – it’s just desserts for a lifetime of service.
‘The university has changed out of all recognition, he took it over at a particularly bad time and he leaves it in a far better shape than it was when he came – he’s a credit to his profession.’
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said Prof Craven had done a lot for the city
He said: ‘Without the university there would be many fewer businesses operating.
‘The number of people employed at the university is large.
‘It’s a important part of what drives the city.’
Prof Craven was the founding chairman of University Alliance, a mission group that represents 23 of the UK’s business-engaged universities.
And he is a member of the Archbishop’s Council of the Church of England, the Board of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.